State Capitol Raceway 2024

The second stop on the Funny Car Chaos tour is at State Capital Raceway in Baton Rouge Louisiana. The team has historically struggled to find a tune up that provided a good window where the car would go down the track. This is one of the longer hauls for the team, at roughly 1000 miles and 16 hours of driving one way. After a long haul the weekend got off to a good start right off the trailer. For the first round of qualifying the team ran a 3.742 at 207mph. This was a good hit at the track and was good for the number one qualifying position.

 The second round of qualifying was later in the evening and the track conditions had improved due to cooler temperatures. With the improved conditions the team was going to try improving on their first run from earlier in the day in the heat by making the car a little more aggressive. The team went back to the left lane that they ran in the first session. However the car didn’t pick up on this run, the car left the line good but quickly got out of shape. By 60 ft the tires had slowed slightly compared to the first run, and then the car hit the bump that was down track. This caused the car to move off the groove and Kirk needed to drive it back. This resulted in a 3.75 run at 205 mph. This was slightly slower but consistent with the first run, in Q3. At the end of the second session of qualifying the Wiliams team was setting on the number one spot.

The next day with the threat of rain the schedule was pressed up and the third and final qualifying session was moved up to 1:00pm. The team had the car setup to take another swing at besting that 3.742 from the first session. This didn’t happen, the car left the line and was in good shape and by the 60 ft it had indeed picked up from the first session. But near the top of low gear the transmission had broke, quickly brining an end to the run. At the conclusion of the third session the team would remain in the number one spot heading into eliminations.

The A field qualifying order.

  1. Kirk Williams (3.742, 207.18mph)
  2. Shayne Lawson (3.815, 199.94mph)
  3. Bill Bernard (3.847, 200.98mph)
  4. Aaron Morrow (3.912, 195.64mph)
  5. Ronny Young (3.948, 158.67mph)
  6. Casey Geeslin (3.963, 188.21mph)
  7. Joe Pirrone (4.079, 180.07mph)
  8. Roger Eckhardt (4.080, 175.17mph) (OUT)
    1. Michael Neal (4.887, 145.30) (inserted as the alternate)

Before the first round of eliminations the team had work to do. That failing transmission allowed the engine to rev freely, quickly hitting the rev-limiter and could have potentially caused other damage as a result. The team had a spare gear set that they were able to setup and would not have to alter transmission ratios. The engines valve springs needed to be checked for broken springs and the rod bolts needed careful inspection. As the bolts could have become loose or bent.  It was unfortunate to have that gear fail, but it was lucky that it did so in qualifying. The first-round matchup was a good close drag race!

In the first round the Williams would be facing off against the Blue Max nitro funny car. Even though they qualified with a slower time this car has the potential to be very fast. At the season opener just a few weeks ago they were able to blister a 3.59 run. This could be a tough matchup!

Both cars left the line Williams had the starting line advantage .022 to a 0.109 and would maintain that advantage past the 60ft with a 0.992 to Youngs 1.001. As the cars approached the 330 mark you could tell the Blue Max had really gained steam and was tracking down Williams. When both cars crossed the finish line it was Williams who had won the race with a 0.09 margin of victory. This was a good race, and if Young had another 100 ft he would have driven around Williams. This run was good for the event low ET running a 3.739 at 206 mph. (Williams 3.739 at 206mph and Ronny Young 3.742 at 208 mph)

In the second round of eliminations Williams would face off against Bill Bernard whose car is a formidable opponent. They are fresh off a victory at the season opener just a few weeks ago and are looking to continue their streak. This would come to an end against Williams. Bills car would start and then Die, and a second attempt at starting would also result in the car not being able to remain running. This would give Williams a single and punch his ticket to the final. This would was far from normal. Williams would do his burnout and looking to run another low 3.7 second ET he brings the car into the pre-stage and brings the car up to launch rpm and stages. Time goes by, and the tree does not activate, he rolls through the beams still with no activation. He then lets the rpm back down to and idle and backs up to stage again and while behind the tree, it goes down. The starter is signaling to shut down and so he now just takes the beams because of all the confusion.  This was unfortunate, and Williams would now lose lane choice due to a track equipment failure.

In the final round of eliminations Williams would face off against Shayne Lawson in the Man O’ War car. This would be a repeat from the first round of eliminations at the season opener just a few weeks ago. This would be another tough matchup. The Man O’ War car takes the Right lane, and places Williams in the Left. Both cars take the tree Shayne getting the advantage on the starting line and they both have to drive, with both cars using all of the track Williams will take the win light with a 0.058 margin of victory! (Williams 3.89 at 205mph at Shayne 3.97)

This was a good win for the team, they had 3 tough cars to get past and 2 close races. The team worked hard to produce a good car that would be able to take track each time. They would like to thank Redline Oil, CP Carillo, Star Racing, Good Year, the Goodlife RV, Ward Luke construction.

We would also like to thank Dan Olson Racing Products. We were having some oil return problems and they helped us fix the issue with our oil pan. They provided us with their knowledge and awesome customer service.

Look for us the team at the next even in Odessa Texas May 3rd and 4th!!!

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